This Beautiful Power Plant Uses The Oceans Tides To Power 155,000 Homes

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The potential for renewable energy is pretty incredible. Our planet can churn out a lot of juice without burning a single lump of goal or a single drop of oil. One of the greatest renewable resources is the sea, which is why, as Reconstruct reports, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will use the natural rise and fall of the ocean tides to generate power.

It’s not yet complete, but when it is, it will power 155,000 homes and won’t likely need to be replaced for a whopping 120 years. It will replace about a quarter million barrels of oil each year and have almost no carbon footprint.

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Tidal power has been around since the 60’s, so it’s not exactly a new concept. What is new is how Swansea Lagoon plans to do it.

Swansea will create a six-mile-long barrier wall that will enclose a rather large amount of water in an artificial tidal lagoon.

The lagoon will capture and hold seawater at high tide. As the tide lowers, water in the four and a half square mile lagoon will be as much as 27 feet higher than the water outside.

The pressure of that water leaving the lagoon will be routed through 26 turbines, returning to the sea, until the water equalizes.

This artificial lagoon is being built in Swansea, Wales because it has the highest tidal difference in the United Kingdom. It’ll create 420 gigawatt hours per year. Plans were okay’d by the UK Energy Ministry last June and construction will begin in 2017.

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